Future Writers' Labs, brilliant creativity and national glory | Future Writers' Labs, brilliant creativity and national glory | DMA

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Future Writers' Labs, brilliant creativity and national glory


What does it take to go from one-to-one-to-millions? Post-its, a razor sharp wit and the London transport system, as it turns out.

The DMA’s Future Writers’ Labs see copywriters learn to do the things they do, better. Well, there’s much more than that. Writers get the chance to build projects that free their creativity and really challenge the way they think about creating connections with other people.

They did what? Where? HOW???

Take Labs scholars Sam Bowhay and Kirin Pawar. They were tasked with dreaming up a project that fulfilled the mission of making a one-to-one-to-millions connection. Like all earnest creatives, they rolled up their sleeves, did that tongue-hanging-out-the-side-of-your-mouth-whilst-you’re-concentrating thing and hey presto, they came up with #commutehappy.

Using Post-its, the duo buzzed around the London Underground sticking up colourful messages of hope and joy across the network with the aim of making people… smile.

Previously ashen-faced commuters instantly caught a glimpse of new horizons. Sam and Kirin crafted messages that complimented Londoners on their impeccable dress sense; told grizzled Zone 8 to Zone 1 veterans to turn their frowns upside down; quoted Dr. Seuss; or in some cases prompted – oh, the horror! – commuters to simply interact with one another.

Basically #commutehappy transformed the Tube system into a subterranean utopia, full of shiny, happy people. Think the extras in Wham!’s upbeat superhit “Club Tropicana”, with added Osyter Cards.

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The #commutehappy hashtag soon barrelled across social media, with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users taking pictures of the Post-its and sharing their captures online.

It wasn’t long before the national press caught on. Sam and Kirin featured on ITV news and online, with another article appearing on the Daily Mail online. Their idea had proved infectious and meant their project touched – if not millions - then certainly many thousands who proudly call the London Underground their home.

Well done to Sam and Kirin for their brilliant idea and sticky execution. Now the baton of brilliance passes to the next cohort of Future Writers. No biggy, just get on TV, get in the national press, make miserable people happy...

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